India is planning a polio immunization drive in high-risk areas of Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts starting next Monday to ensure all vulnerable children living in high-risk areas are given protection against polio.
Some 300,000 children will be vaccinated using the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV).
India has done what some thought was unlikely at one time, they have been polio free for about 5 1/2 years. This remarkable achievement occurred in a country that just 30 years ago reported 150,000 wild polio cases in a single year.
The upcoming campaign is just more evidence of India’s strong commitment to remain polio-free.
The health ministry notes that some media sources reported that polio virus (P2 strain) has resurfaced in India for the first time in 5 years.
However, it is not true as detected polio virus strain is vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV) in a sewage sample collected near the Secunderabad railway station. VDOV are rare strains of the polioviruses that have genetically mutated from the strain contained in the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). However, no children have been found to be affected by the detected VDPV isolate in the nearby areas.
Between Jan 2015 and May 2016, a total of 14 sewage samples collected from different parts of the country tested positive for VDPVs. All of these have been responded to urgently and appropriately with polio vaccination campaigns. None of these VDPVs detected in the sewage infected any children, so far.